The Las Vegas Raiders had some decisions to make when they traded their former Pro-Bowl tight end Darren Waller to the New York Giants last offseason.
Soon after, they signed another former Pro Bowler in tight end Austin Hooper before finding their new No. 1 tight end in the 2023 NFL Draft, Michael Mayer.
Those moves would limit opportunities for Raiders tight end Cole Fotheringham, whom the club had signed as an undrafted free agent in May 2022 and kept on the practice squad all through the 2022 season.
Fotheringham did show in the 2023 preseason that he could possibly be a reliable backup when needed. In Week 1 of the preseason, Fotheringham totaled 71 receiving yards on five receptions, which was originally a sign that he could have an impactful role in at least some sort of capacity for Las Vegas going forward. But Fotheringham would appear in just two games in the regular season, registering just one reception for six yards.
In Week 17 against the Indianapolis Colts, Fotheringham suffered a strained hamstring and would be placed on the practice squad IR.
Last month, the Raiders signed Fotheringham to a reserve/future contract. He is on a one-year deal worth $795,000.
Depending on the health of Mayer and the free agency of Hooper, there's a future where Fotheringham could get more minutes with Las Vegas. Before that happens, he has to make the 53-man roster again, a task he has been able to complete twice before. That experience should benefit him if he gets to training camp.
Fotheringham played college ball at Utah, where he spent four seasons. He ultimately totaled 526 yards and three touchdowns on 52 receptions in 47 games (38 starts).
The NFL Draft will be held in Detroit, Mich., on April 25-27, 2024. The Las Vegas Raiders currently hold the No. 13 overall pick.
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